Sri Lanka will benefit from the new trade deals to be signed with India, China and the European Union. The EU had banned Sri Lankan fishing exports from January 2015 due to irregular fishing practices. This ban is likely to be lifted. Sri Lanka is also trying to get back GSP Plus preferred tariff concessions for exports to the EU. The facility was suspended in 2010 due to issues involving labor rights, civil and political rights. If it is restored, exporters of apparel will get more access to the EU.
GSP Plus is a special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, which is one of three non-reciprocal, preferential import regimes for developing countries under the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences. The Economic and Technology Cooperative Agreement (ETCA) trade pact with India may be in effect by next year and a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China may also be inked soon.
Sri Lanka is a signatory for many bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, beneficial in enhancing commercial relationships and facilitation of trade and investment by reducing or eliminating tariffs, import quotas, export restrictions and other trade barriers. Trade agreements often include investment guarantees and can also help to minimise trade deficits.